City of Coldwater receives Certified Local Government status to support historic preservation activities

Thursday, September 21, 2023

Certification provides state and federal technical assistance, eligibility for historic preservation grants

LANSING, Mich. – The Michigan State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) announced today that the City of Coldwater in Branch County has been accepted to the Certified Local Government (CLG) program, following confirmation from the National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior.

“We are pleased to welcome the City of Coldwater as Michigan’s 42nd CLG community,” said State Historic Preservation Officer Ryan Schumaker. “We look forward to working with them to identify and preserve those buildings, structures, and sites that are important to Coldwater’s unique history.”

The Certified Local Government program is a partnership among local, state, and national governments focused on promoting historic preservation at the local level. The National Park Service administers the program in coordination with the State Historic Preservation Office. Certification makes the City of Coldwater eligible for specialized technical assistance and programming from the SHPO.

Participation in the CLG program also makes the community eligible for federal grants provided by the U.S. Department of the Interior and administered by the SHPO. These grants may be used for a variety of preservation activities, such as historic resource surveys, National Register of Historic Places nominations, educational and heritage tourism initiatives, pre-development plans and studies, and rehabilitation of certain historic properties.

“The City of Coldwater is proud to be a Certified Local Government and we look forward to deepening our commitment to historic preservation with the guidance and support of CLG program staff. Preservation-based economic development is another way to help maintain the integrity of our architecture and preserve our unique history,” said Keith Baker, City Manager.

“As a Main Street Select Level community, the CLG program will equip us with the tools to enhance the character of the downtown and the adjacent historic districts, and provide our building and business owners with critical resources,” added Audrey Tappenden, Director of the Branch County Economic Growth Alliance and Coldwater Main Street.

While Coldwater has long recognized the importance of its heritage to the future of the community, the City formalized its historic preservation activities in 2010 with the establishment of the Downtown Coldwater Local Historic District and the accompanying Historic District Commission to help manage change in this area, which is also listed in the National Register of Historic Places. The city boasts four other National Register historic districts—East Chicago Street Historic District, Marshall Street Historic District, South Monroe Street Historic District, and West Peral Street Historic District—and seven individual listings, including the restored Tibbits Opera House, which received a Governor’s Award for Historic Preservation following the restoration of the façade to its original 1882 design in 2013.

Coldwater joins a growing network of more than 2,000 Certified Local Governments across the country, including 41 other Michigan communities. There is no cost to participate in the program, but communities must meet certain requirements. Participating communities must have a local historic district ordinance and appoint a historic district commission to review proposed work in locally designated historic districts. CLGs must also encourage public participation in the local historic preservation program and seek ways to identify, protect, and celebrate important historic resources in their community.

About the State Historic Preservation Office
Focused on the historic preservation of culturally or archaeologically significant sites throughout the state, Michigan's State Historic Preservation Office’s main function is to provide technical assistance to local communities and property owners in their efforts to identify, evaluate, designate, interpret and protect Michigan’s historic above- and below-ground resources. SHPO also administers an incentives program that includes state and federal tax credits and pass-through grants available to Certified Local Governments.

To learn more about the State Historic Preservation Office and the Certified Local Government program, visit


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